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Old 10-02-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
Montek OP
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SoulCat fall colors

Have you ever been in a funk you can not seem to get out of???? The kind of funk where the world is out of order politically, personally, economically, and militarily!!!!! OOOHHHH, wait, we ARE there. I needed some perspective again after a busy summer of work. Fall is happening daily in the high country and this past sunday offered a day of eye popping beauty, soulfull reguvination, a little exploration, and relaxation.

Best part of this - I was mounted on the SoulCat - my 2001 Triumph Tiger
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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starting out

I call home Pinetop Arizona!!! YA YA YA, I know, Arizona is a Desert. It is!!!!! But it is also home to one of the worlds largest Ponderosa Pine Tree stands. Pinetop is located in the central eastern to northeastern part of the state, and my house sits at 7,500 ft., -in the mountains, they call it the white mountains, we get lots of snow, thus the "white"!

The usually green pine trees are deep in the needle drop phase of thier growth. They do this twice a year - once in sping and once in fall. They develope brown needles, the needles drop to the ground, and new, lush needles replace them. Notice the brown, looks kinda sickly and ugly right now - but that means the aspens, maples, oaks are spectacular.



The travel plans will involve 300+ miles with a mix of twisty asphalt highways and dirt forest roads. First, I need fuel before hitting the real high country, there are no gas stops cept for a couple and one is questionable at times.

Left the house for fuel, is a gorgous day, and I wasn't alone on the thought of riding today. Saw this guy on the way for fuel


Fueling and some sweet cages filling up
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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hit the road

Fuel in tank-check, cameras-check, food-check. All that is left is to twist da throttle.

Rolling out of town with some speed immediately lifted a bit of the gloom and funk off my shoulders. The asphalt was emty! The throttle just twisted itself in and out as the SoulCat glided through the sweeping lady-like curves of Highway 260!!!!!!! Life is blissful, gleeming and fresh as i breath in the smell of pine from the dew covered trees - PURE - HEAVEN








Right, left, right, left, through the pines, - man i live in an awsome area to ride. Feel the SoulCat accelerate, de-celerate, accelerate, its like one of those songs with an awesome beat - can't get enough of that feeling.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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lunch

Sorry, gota take the little lady for lunch - be back in,oohh, maybe a couple hours.
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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Sunday

It is Sunday and the common day for worship. Saw these two signs by a drive that lead back into the trees




No time to investigate where the drive went and what was back there, virgin sacrifice maybe, i'm safe!

Needed to keep in the throttle to make the day a success. Back to the curves of 260


Zipping along, a cage in front of me, a distance in front of me, but none the less, it bothered me to have a cage in visual contact. I thought to my self - overtake on a flying 100mph pass and show em who rules the road today!! get out out of my sight, CAGER!!! but then I thought - why am I so uptight, let it go, feel the air, feel the sunshine, feel, LIFE. I pulled over and decided a few pics where in order.

SoulCat in the timbers


Nice, open, high country meadow for cattle to roam, elk and deer to forage on/in, and bear to wallow


As I enjoy nature and all its splendor I can hear tires on asphalt coming my way. The Cages at the gas stop out for a sunday drive




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Old 10-02-2012, 02:16 PM   #6
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oops

pay no attentiion to the oops. wasn't meant for this post. sometimes, correction, most times, i am a real dult

after the chill out, back on the bike for more sexy 260 curves and a few straights meant for high speed travel.

Fellow rider enjoying the day


SoulCat just dropped the hammer on the above straight - my hair was blowing in the wind "inside my helmut"!!!!
Speed definitely cures funk - the cure for funk is speed, absurd speed.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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the color

Rolled up on this couple out for a morn ride to the high country - not sure what the bike was, not a harly/victory big cruiser. more of a sport tourer. I could feel the vibe of their delight through the stream of air i was sharing with them!


Then it happened A couple sweeping ladylike curves and BAM, COLOR, color like neon on a moonless night






I pull over, well off the road, and start snapping pictures





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Old 10-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #8
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greenyellowgoldred













The living eye soaks in so much more beauty than a camera can comprehend from its mechanical lenz. Its still worth trying to communicate what my eyes calibrated with the help of the mechanical digitization of color.











nature
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #9
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Big

Further up the 260 is a T in the road. Turn off 260 and you will find the Sunrise Sky Area. I stopped here for more pics in the WIDE OPEN SPACE




There are huge pastures up here. This is the area where The Duke - John Wayne located his cattle ranch. Lush, high country grass, cool temps, unlimited sunshine, summer monsoons, perfect for beef cattle







The ski runs


Riders on the move, soaking in all the beauty







The sign says showlow to the left 35 miles. Eager/Springerville to the right 20 miles. UMMMMMMM!! which way to go.

Time for some dirt - neither place will do.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #10
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dirt

3 miles up the road i find the fr117 turn off. 9 miles down fr117 and this appears


Up the switchbacks i go, there are washouts on the road from the summers long, long, heavy monsoons. No pics as its steep enouph to cause a start up problem and not interesting enouph to warrent a picture, but you know!!! shitty.

Views from the top








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Old 10-02-2012, 07:42 PM   #11
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from the top

Greens Peak is loaded with antennas and high tech sat. towers for phone, radio, t.v., e.t. communication junk, you have all seen the stuff.

More of the good stuff


the cows at the water hole look like ants, smaller than ants. From here, i think i can eat a cow




Back down from the top, meandering around on the forest roads, this old corral caught eye.




I would bet there are great roundup stories to be shared by this old corral! a few camel non filters rubbed out, some roll your owns inhaled by a skinny, no ass cowboy in a big hat, skoal and copenhagen stains, possibly a redman n beachnut spewd out in the form of a spitball I would venture to imagine a number of beers consumed after a hard day riding, roping and roundup. The good ole days!!



The horses were glad to have the day off





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Old 10-02-2012, 08:02 PM   #12
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hungry

Hunger was edging out on photo taking, hungry enouph to eat a cow. Will have to settle for yard bird n rice

Explored around and picked this place for my lunch stop. Loved all the ammenities available, service was crap, views were good.







This is where greed reared its rear. Dirt roads called out to the SoulCat and I just rode-for long period-no pics, no breaks, just me and SoulCat settling in to a smooth hum and drinking from the nature well of beauty. We wondered through miles of burned forest, miles of lush forest, ended up on the back side of Alpine between Alpine, Luna and the Reserve turn off. it was a dandy of a ride. SoulCat found another section of great tarmac. Hwy 180 towards Alma, Glenwood, and Silver City New Mexico
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:17 PM   #13
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twisties

Highway 180 in New Mexico is a must do!!!


Notice we are out of the high country color? losing altitude and aspens, but the road made up for it.









the views were vast-deep-intense






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Old 10-02-2012, 09:32 PM   #14
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #15
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Glenwood



forgot to post this-just outside Alpine where i dumped out on hwy 180

Those of you from az and new mex know about the wallow fire - largest fire in history - happened last year. This year all the burn areas are easy to identify. Immediatly after fire, usually comes a blanket of lush green weeds. looks fantastic in the spring, sorta like life after death - or a biolgical trade of sorts - gone are the tall EVERGREEN poderosa trees, burned out braches and needles leave behind burnt matchstick like poles. But below the matchsticks is a lush green cover of vegitation. in the fall, the vegitation turns colors on its way to winter dormancy. The fire weed thrives in these conditions. burn ares are marked by the most spectacler red under brush!!! It is really quite beautiful










Intense - in some strange way, this is representation of the intesity of change from pines to vegetation and the years of plant life struggles and compition for hundreds of years to come -

Fire weed and match sticks
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